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European Commission


Brussels, 14 June 2013

Regional policy Commissioner Hahn opens top research project ELI - to give Europe the edge on laser technology and reverse the brain drain

Work began today on what will be the most important pan European research project in the newer EU member states.

Commissioner Johannes Hahn is in Magurele, Romania to attend the inauguration of the project which has been co-financed with EU regional funds of around 150 million EUR.

The ELI-NP ("Extreme Light Infrastructure – Nuclear Physics") is one hub of a pan-European research project which also has facilities in the Czech Republic and Hungary. It is part of a research consortium that brings together 40 partners from 13 Member States.

Speaking from the ELI site in Magurele, Commissioner Hahn said: "ELI is hugely significant not just for Romania, but for all of Europe. It has the potential to attract researchers and students. This is about turning the brain-drain into brain circulation and attracting people down the path of a science career. It can also put Europe on the map of nuclear physics research using high-tech laser technology."

He added: "Romania has already started developing key links between ELI-NP and academia, as well as promoting its commercial potential internationally."

ELI-NP is located next to the Horia Hulubei National Institute of Physics and Nuclear Engineering - in Magurele, south of Bucharest. By 2018, ELI-NP should employ 262 researchers (including 36 support staff).

The total cost of the project comes to more than €356 million (EU regional and national funds combined). The facility is scheduled to become operational by 2015.

Link to ELI website:

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